by William Skink
No matter how badly our elected officials may desire a return to the normalcy of doing the city’s business with little scrutiny from an informed public that is not going to happen, not when Brandon Bryant is facing felony charges for threatening public officials.
This confusing and deeply disturbing story is being covered closely by Dawg Majik at the blog connected to the Outer Limits Radio Show.
On February 7th the post titled Missoula Officials Distort Facts To Suppress TIF Activism described what had happened up to that point with Brandon Bryant, the alleged threats, and the decision to ban Bryant from city property. The post features a lengthy apology from Bryant, who had already been contacted by law enforcement about the ban. From the link:
Brandon posted a statement apologizing for creating anxiety, admitting his statements were hyperbolic, assuring our elected officials he means them no harm, and setting the record straight about who he actually feels angry with. I’ll give you a hint: it isn’t Missoula’s bureaucracy.
Furthermore, the police report to the Council indicates that law enforcement “Don’t believe he’s an immediate threat to any council safety,” further stating that Bryant “admitted to posting these videos to ‘incite a response’“.
The Missoula Police Department acknowledge that efforts are being made, hand-in-hand with law enforcement, to arrive at a peaceful resolution to this situation.
On the same day of the blog post (which included a portion of a mysterious dossier that Bryant received suggesting some ethically dubious real estate deals benefiting Mayor Engen) charges were formally filed by the County Attorney’s Office. Coincidence?
After charges were filed Bryant was arrested on February 11th. With this oh so dangerous and threatening disabled Veteran locked in a cage, public officials, like Vice President of City Council, Gwen Jones, expressed hope Bryant would receive help. This excerpt is from a Missoulian article published on February 13th:
Thursday, Missoula City Council Vice President Gwen Jones said she hopes Bryant “gets the resources and help that he needs” and that the council can “return to normal city government dynamic.”
“It would be irresponsible to not take something like this seriously,” Jones said.
In a new post from Outer Limits, titled Brandon Bryant Is A Political Prisoner, more context is provided about what’s been happening since felony charges were filed against Bryant. I strongly encourage readers to read the whole post.
Here’s an excerpt about what the mysterious dossier could mean if the documents prove to be real:
The documents in question, if their providence was genuine, could imperil the careers and future of not just the Mayor and his colleagues, but also the developers and businesses he allegedly received kickbacks from. In short, the stakes were raised and local elites were not comfortable. So it seems they capitalized on the only alternative in their grasp: striking back at the individuals that seem to pose the most direct threat to Missoula’s power monopoly.
Despite public statements by the Council that “efforts are being made” to connect Bryant with services, no member of the Council ever appealed to any veteran’s organization to directly seek those services.
In fact, when contacted directly the day after her public statement that efforts were being made, Council Vice President Gwen Jones disavowed her involvement or responsibility with facilitating that connection. She said it wasn’t her responsibility and she was not involved, instructing interested parties to speak to MPD officer Ethan Smith who was in charge of Bryant’s case.
But it was officer Smith who called Bryant to tell him a warrant had been issued for his arrest on the morning of 11 February 2020, instructing him to turn himself in by 2:00 PM, and warning him that if he didn’t surrender himself to the police that he would be tracked down and captured.
Far from the promised connection with services, Bryant’s incarceration actually isolates him from the necessary resources he enjoyed access to while free in his community. As a disabled veteran, Bryant’s service dog constitutes an essential part of his treatment for PTSD.
Locked in Missoula County Detention Facility, Bryant’s health and well-being are heavily compromised. The decision to jail him was made despite his cooperation with all Police orders. His incarceration also comes despite Bryant’s public apology for his previous remarks, re-avowing that he never possessed ANY intention of committing ANY act of violence against ANY City Council member, or ANY human being AT ALL.
Read both posts at The Outer Limits blog here
After pondering this dire situation over the weekend I’m left wondering how far the TIF addicts will go to protect their supply of public money. Will they destroy Brandon Bryant’s life to keep the gravy train chugging along? Will they ignore potential evidence of unethical real estate deals benefiting Mayor Engen? What will they do to protect their status quo and shut up the pesky public from asking questions about what’s being done with their money?